Cheesy Pizza Roll Up

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Cheesy Pizza Roll Up
Story and Photos by Daniela Gonzalez

A lazy Saturday night, a Pinterest account, and a fully stocked refrigerator was all Travis Guerra, freshman computer science major, needed to create one of his all-time favorite dishes: A Cheesy Pizza Roll-Up.

“I really did not have anything else to do that Saturday. I was bored and too lazy to go out to actually buy food, so I decided to login to my secret Pinterest account and make something with the ingredients I had in my fridge,” Guerra says.

Guerra has a special love for Italian cuisine. He loves everything that the Italian culture has to offer, including its food delights. His favorite food to eat is homemade Lasagna. He also enjoys eating Chinese and Japanese food.

“Whenever friends from school come over, I make this dish for them. It is one of their favorites,” Guerra says. “Also, when I visit them at the residence halls, they ask me to make a pizza roll-up for them.”

Besides seeing this dish as a delicious and tasty meal, Guerra thinks the roll-up is fairly easy to do. Guerra says a person can fill the roll with almost anything they want. It does not have to be exactly like the instructions say to do it like.

“I keep on telling my friends that as long as they have an oven and a craving for Italian, this should be easy to do,” he says. “You can easily make the roll-ups in the dorm lounge, go back to your dorm, and have a relaxing evening with a great, delicious meal.”

Guerra believes this recipe is perfect for any occasion. Whether it is a quick meal to share with friends or a snack to munch on when watching a movie, making a pizza roll up should do the trick.

Ingredients

  • 1 roll of Pillsbury pizza dough
  • 2 cups of pepperoni
  • 1 block of mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup of sliced ham
  • 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 tbsp. pepper
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • ¼ cup of pizza sauce

Directions

First, preheat the oven to 400 oF for 10 minutes. Next, expand the pizza dough on a metallic pan In a wooden cut board, cut the mozzarella cheese block and ham into small cheese slices. Place columns of pepperoni, ham, and mozzarella slices throughout the whole pizza dough mix. Spread the shredded mozzarella cheese on top of the pepperoni, ham, and mozzarella slices. Roll the pizza dough into a cylinder. Shut both ends of the cylinder so the filling won’t leak through. In a separate bowl, melt a stick of butter. Once melted, mix the butter with the tbsp. of pepper and tbsp. of salt. Spread the mix on top of the rolled dough. Put the rolled dough in the oven to bake for 20 minutes. Once ready, let the roll chill for 5 minutes. Finally, in a separate bowl put some pizza sauce, cut the roll, serve, and enjoy!

Makes 2-3 servings.

Flan De Queso

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Flan de Queso
Story and photos by Holly Basaldu

Johanna Magee, a child of both Mexico and New York, shares with us her favorite dishes, some imprinted cooking experiences and an insight into why cooking is a part of her identity. A sophomore international relations and political science double-major at St. Mary’s University, Magee embraces cooking as a way to feel at home.

Studying far from home, Magee explains her aunt’s friend, an alumnus of St. Mary’s, recommended her to the university’s English program to assist her in bridging the gap between English and Spanish.

She also loves the home environment that St. Mary’s provides. Geography plays into another big part being close to Mexico—she’s never too far from her Mother.

“My mom’s food led me into the kitchen…I wouldn’t like the way she cooked something so I would end up going into the kitchen to see if I could redo it my own way,” she says.

My mother “is my inspiration. She is why I started into the kitchen in the first place,” Magee explains.

Influenced by the Italian family environment, Magee’s favorite type of dishes are pasta-dependent, which include lasagna and Penne de Vodka—a penne pasta with a tomato vodka sauce that has a creamy, rich taste.

Cooking helps her distress and results in having a delicious treat in the end. Enjoying time in the kitchen, she shows how to make Flan.

“This is the dish my mom taught me when I was young, and this is my favorite dessert,” she says.

 

Tools

Aluminum Foil

Baking Pan 9″x9″

Blender

Can Opener

Knife

Measuring Cups (½ cup)

Oven Mitten

Wisk

Ingredients

Condensed Milk- 1 Can (14oz)

Cream Cheese- 1 Bar (4oz)

Eggs- 4 (large)

Evaporated Milk- 1 Can (12oz)

Extra Virgin Olive Oil- 2tsp or Non-stick cooking spray

Milk- ½ Cup

Sugar- ½ Cup

Instructions
Pre-heat oven to 350°F .Drizzle EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) or spray with non-stick cooking spray and Sugar on the bottom of the Baking Pan. Heat the pan over the stove top on medium (this makes a sugary glaze on top) or put into oven for 3-5 minutes (till golden brown). Combine the rest of the ingredients into the blender and blend on high till you get a thick consistency. Pour the mixture into the pan over the sugary glaze. Cover the pan with Aluminum Foil. Bake at 350°F for 35m-45m, till golden brown (it will puff up and rise during the baking). Let cool at room temperature for 35m. Carefully in a knife along the edges, then flip the Pan onto a serving plate.

Quickie Chili

 

 

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Quickie Chili
Story and Photos by Troy Grohman

With quick company coming over for dinner and not much time for preparation, Tabitha Grohman, former biology major at St. Mary’s, knows exactly what to make: a nice bowl of quickie chili—a family recipe that has been passed down for generations.

“This dish was passed down from my grandma to my mom, to me, so I guess you could say this dish has been a family recipe for generations,” Grohman says.

Grohman’s taste in food reveals where she was raised.

“I’m a big fan of Italian food but I would say that my favorite type of food would be Tex-Mex simply because I grew up with it. I love pairing a good Tex-Mex dish with an ice cold sweet tea,” she says.

As a teacher at Savannah Heights in Somerset, Texas, Grohman’s schedule is usually hectic so it is nice to be able to make something so easy to make and yet so hearty and filling.

“I choose to make this quickie chili recipe because it was simple and something that would be easy for many people to cook,” she says

To her surprise this recipe won a cooking contest at Savannah Heights. “I also entered this chili in our schools first annual chili contest or “Souper Bowl” and my chili won the contest for best tasting chili,” Grohman says.

She encourages people to add to the recipe to make it their own, as the dish is very versatile and easy to personalize.

“I’ve added things like potatoes or peppers to it. You can really experiment with it,” Grohman explains.

 

Ingredients

1/2 lb. hamburger meat per 6 servings

2 tbs. of chili powder

1 can of ranch style beans

1 cup of water

1tsp. of salt

1tsp. of pepper

Cheese to taste

Sour cream to taste

 

Directions

1.cook ground beef in pan on high, season with salt and pepper

2. stir until beef is fully brown

3.Turn town pan temp to med-low

4.Drain off any excess grease in the pan

5.Once grease is drained, add 2 tbs. of chili powder to pan

6.Stir chili powder into beef until it turns slightly more orange in color.

7.open can of ranch style beans (save can for later) and add them to the pan

8.Stir until beans are fully mixed

9.Fill empty can of ranch style beans with water and add it to the pan

10.Stir pan for about 5-10 minutes

11. plate the chili in a bowl and add cheese and sour cream to taste.

 

 

 

Sopa de Letras

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Sopa de Letras
Story and photos by Elizabeth Arredondo

Being 193 miles away from home can make one very homesick. Sometimes the only thing that can cure your homesickness is making one of your favorite childhood dishes. Ximena Mondragaon, a sophomore political science major, is no stranger to learning and working in the kitchen. She started learning how to cook at the young age of 9 years old. Her favorite dishes are soap de letras and green enchiladas. She is a daughter, sister, friend, student, and role model. She aspires to run for governor and be a political science professor in the future.
Mondragon is very involved on campus and she loves that St. Mary’s University has given her many opportunities in life. “I love the community of St. Mary’s University. Everyone has been so kind to me and really helpful. I also like all the opportunities St. Mary’s has provided me with” Mondragon says. She is a part of the Marianist Leadership Program, Kappa Delta Chi, and Mecha. She also started her own Political Science club.
The dish she prepared is called Sopa de Letras and it is one of her favorites. “The dish prepared has been passed down trough generations. This soup is the first thing the women in my family learn to cook. I learned to cook this soup when I was 9 years old. At 9 I started to learn how to cook and from there I have learned to cook many Mexican dishes. I love going home to cook with my mom and grandma because its a bonding and learning time. I will one day pass down this dish to my kids.” she says.

Sopa De Letras

Ingredients
• 1 Bag of La Moderna Alphabets/Letras
• 2 cubes of Caldo de Pollo Bouillos
• 2 Slices of chicken breasts
• 2 pieces of celery
• 2 whole carrots
• 1 Bulk of Garlic
• 2 Medium Tomatoes
• Vegetable Oil
• 1 Onion

Directions

1. Open and wash the chicken
2. Lay out 2 strips of chicken on a chopping board and chop it up into little pieces
3. Chop up carrots and celery into small pieces
4. Blend tomatoes, garlic, onion and 1250ml of water
5. Heat up a large round pot and add a dime size amount of vegetable oil
6. Put pasta into the bowl and slowly stir until golden
7. Add blended ingredients to the pot
8. Add chopped up chicken to the pot
9. Add chopped up veggies into the pot
10. Add 2 bouillons
11. Stir into boil
12. Let the pot sit for 15 minutes
13. Serve

Serves 6-8 people

Meatloaf

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Meatloaf, The best kind of Comfort food.
Story and Photos by Isabel Vera

Cooking is the easiest way to bring together and feed a family. Lucia Vera, a St. Mary’s alumna, has always believed the act of cooking food was a way to provide for her family.

This notion was inherited from her mother who not only taught her how to cook but also about the significance of taking on this role.

“I like cooking all types of food from traditionally Mexican food, Chinese, Italian, American, and even Indian food,” she says.

Coming from a family of 13, she learned that cooking was an act of labor and love and that it brings people together.

“I remember watching my mother roll out tortillas and make enough for all of my brothers, sisters, dad, and herself to have every day,” Vera says.

Vera chose an American comfort food that would be quick to make and to prepare. With St. Mary’s being her alma mater.

She wanted a simple and easy dish to serve and eat. Spring time at St. Mary’s is known for Oyster Bake and that annual event is full of simple foods.

Vera wants to replicate this simplicity with a spring time dish people could enjoy quickly.

“I not only like to cook multiple types of dishes but I like many different types of food and like to infuse that in my daily meal preparations,” she says.

“There are definitely dishes that I like to cook that have cultural significance but this dish does not have any special significance other than it being a comfort food. It is just a nice simple meal to make and eat,” Vera explains.

Meatloaf has many variations such as either topping it with gravy or with a tomato-based product, or even choosing to add certain vegetables like onions.

Although it is a recipe that essentially has you “mixes meat and a few spices and vegetables,” the way the product tastes depends on preference and experience with the dish.

Vera’s advice is to add certain spices such as pepper and salt along the way and not just at one time.

She also advises to put foil on the meatloaf to control how the meatloaf cooks.

Taking off the foil at the 45 minute mark will “brown” the top half of the dish to allow for a more appetizing meatloaf.

Vera suggests to add some side dishes with meatloaf such as mashed potatoes to compliment it.

“Meatloaf by itself can be boring but adding just a simple side dish can make a huge difference. Cooking is a joy of mine that I hope to pass down to my daughters just as my mom did for me,” Vera concludes.

 

Ingredients:

  • 6 lbs. of ground beef
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 ½ cup of oats
  • 3 tsp. garlic
  • ¾ cup of diced bell pepper
  • ¼ diced onion (optional)
  • 1 tsp. of black pepper
  • 3 tsp. salt
  • 2 (6 oz) can of tomato paste
  • 1 (8 oz) can of tomato sauce

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Dice the bell pepper and onion. In a mixing bowl mix the ground beef, eggs, oats, garlic, salt, and pepper into one raw mixture. Add in the bell pepper and onion. Mix in tomato paste and tomato sauce. Spray Pam in the pan that being used for the meatloaf. Place and press mixture firmly and evenly into pan. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 1 ½ hours. Take out of oven and let cool down. Makes 15 servings.

Crafting the art of Sushi

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Dragon Roll Sushi by Louie Anthony Cortez
Story and photos by Ricardo Reyes

St. Mary’s University has and continues to bring a diverse set of students through its doors over the years, each with their own set of skills. Louie Anthony Cortez was one of those students, skilled in writing and cooking.

Cortez graduated from St. Mary’s with a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2000 and a master’s degree in English Literature and Language in 2010. For over 15 years, Cortez has served as the office coordinator at the Blume Library. His passions have always included writing and cooking. While writing is a prominent activity in his life, the skill of cooking came later.

Cortez’s love for cooking began after he graduated with his bachelor’s degree and returned to live at home with his parents.

“Cooking provided me the opportunity to foster a relationship with my mother I did not have before college. It also made me much more independent,” Cortez says.

Like many Hispanic families, food is a way of communicating and bonding. While his first dishes were traditionally Hispanic recipes like enchiladas or tamales, Cortez has also taken a fondness for Asian cuisine.

The dragon roll sushi is one of Cortez’s favorite entrees because of its simplicity and versatility in combining some of his favorite seafood: crab and shrimp.

“Not only is it delicious, but I love making this dish with friends. It is a lot of fun teaching someone how to make their own sushi,” he says.

Dragon Roll Sushi

Ingredients

  • 4 cups sushi rice
  • 4-6 nori sheets
  • 20 medium size shrimps
  • 1 cup Tempura
  • 2 Avocado
  • 2 Cucumber
  • 100gr Tobiko
  • 100gr BBQed eel or Crab

Directions

  1. First, mix the tempura with a little bit of water and stir until combined to a thick even mixture. Cut off shrimp tails, and dip the shrimps, one by one, in tempura mixture and deep fry for about 30 sec or until the outside gets golden-brownish.
  2. Slice the cucumber into long slices, and use a peeler to peal thin avocado layers.
  3. Spread the rice on the nori sheet, and flip it over the mat so that the rice is now facing upwards. Lay the avocado the cucumber sticks you have cut in advance, and line up some tempura shrimps and on top of that slices of eel. Roll it inside-out style and cut the endings, but leave the rest whole for now
  4. Elegantly, cover the top of the roll with the layers of avocado you made with the peeler, and use the bamboo mat to tighten it to the roll.
  5. Use a little spoon to carefully spread some Tobiko on the roll.

Makes 2 servings

Strawberry Jelly Cake

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Strawberry Jelly Cake
Story and Photos by Selina Rodriguez

A good challenge and spending quality time with others is something that inspired Iris Bermea, an alumna of St. Mary’s Univeristy, to choose cooking as a hobby.

Bermea graduated from St. Mary’s with a bachelor’s degree in exercise and sports science and is currently working for Cadillac dealership.

“I enjoy the company I work for right now and plan on growing with it,” she says.

Bermea says her love of cooking and baking was inspired by her mother whom she watched cook just about every family meal since she was little.

“I remember always wanting to help my mom cook for our family and being really proud when everyone liked the meal we had prepared,” she says.

“She has taught me to cook every dish that I now know how to make and I am so grateful to her for that. I am trying to make some new dishes here and there though,” Bermea says.

In 2016, Bermea’s chili recipe won 2nd Place at the St. Mary’s inaugural chill cook-off.

“St. Mary’s was a great university to attend. I love the community-based environment; nothing compares to the friendships I made there,” she says.

“I thought I would prepare this new cake dish because I have a co-worker’s birthday coming up. I love making recipes with and for people. It’s a good and inexpensive way to make people feel special on their birthdays because they know you put in that effort for them,” she says.

“I don’t really have a favorite type of food. I truly love all kinds. I am not a picky eater at all but I love my mom’s chicken quesadillas if I had to pick,” she says.

To a fellow cook or baker, Bermea offers important advice.

“Never give up on trying to perfect a dish. It won’t always be a piece of cake, but just try to enjoy it and learn from mistakes you make. You will get better with practice and a positive attitude,” Bermea advises.

Ingredients

  • 1 (18.25-ounce) box white cake mix
  • 1 (3-ounce) box strawberry-flavored instant gelatin
  • 1 (15-ounce) package frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed and pureed
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 stick of butter, softened
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed and pureed
  • 7 cups confectioners’ sugar

Makes 8 servings.

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease 2 (9-inch) round cake pans. Then, in a large bowl, combine cake mix and gelatin. Add pureed strawberries, eggs, oil, and water; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Pour into prepared pans, and bake for 20 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks. For the frosting: In a large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in 1/4 cup of the strawberry puree and the strawberry extract. (The rest of the puree is leftover but can be used in smoothies or on ice cream for a delicious treat.) Gradually add confectioners’ sugar, beating until smooth. Spread frosting in between layers and on top and sides of cake. Garnish with sliced fresh strawberries, if desired.